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· Floods,Farm life

11 JUNE 2024: More extreme weather experienced across the NSW South Coast in early June. And on Friday, 7 June 2024, one particular storm-related event raised more than our eyebrows and pulse rates.

At the same time as an extraordinary amount of rain fell on the coast, wind - or, possibly a mini-tornado - ripped apart one of Croobyar Farm's metal haysheds. The powerful blast struck Ringland Lane, in western Milton, where the second farm is located, at about midday.

(Heavy rain and strong wind gusts were, indeed, observed by the Bureau of Meteorology for the Ulladulla area. But Ulladulla and Milton are 7km apart - and a lot of our local weather is "unobserved" by the BoM. Note, too, in that BoM table in the link what is recorded for Ulladulla for 7 June 2024 - and what isn't.)

Fortunately, no animals or staff were injured when that wind sent metal roof sheets flying through the air before dumping them on the laneways and stacked silage bales.

Below are photographs of the shredded shed at Croobyar Farm.


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Image 1: Roof gone.


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Image 2: Part of the roof dumped by the wind on and near the silage bales.


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Image 3: Laneway landing.


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Image 4: Mangled metal.


Farm sheds in Milton, NSW are regularly hit by powerful wind and wind gusts. Late winter and spring, in particularly, are windy times for the Milton area. This event, however, was atypical. And it must have been extraordinarily powerful to rip off a heavy metal roof.

Clearly another square to cross off the Natural Disaster Bingo Card.


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Image 5: Natural Disaster Bingo Card


Sarcasm aside, the latest event and damaging loss definitely impacted the farm and the business bottom line. We're aware that we aren't the only business and farm affected by the most recent extreme weather event. Here's what the Shoalhaven Mayor, Amanda Findley, had to say to the ABC about June's rainstorms and flooding:

"Let's be real, we are in the grips of climate change and the climate crisis has been right on the door of the Shoalhaven for the last four years as far as I am concerned as we rack up natural disaster number 15 as it stands since the 2019 fires. [...] We used to average a natural disaster one a year — that was pretty easy to handle back in the day but that has now racked up to three to four per year [...] Every time that there is a disaster in a local government area like the Shoalhaven it has a massive impact on the ability to do business."

You read that correctly: FIFTEEN natural disasters in five years.

How do you spell unprecedented? S-h-o-a-l-h-a-v-e-n, perhaps?